A Message from the New AST President

With great excitement and gratitude, I begin my role as AST's President. I sincerely appreciate our Past President, Dr. Josh Levitsky, for his exemplary leadership and dedication over the past year. 

In addition, I would like to congratulate Dr. Dave Foley, our newly elected President-elect, Dr. Jonathan Maltzman, our new Treasurer, and our new Councilors-at-Large: Drs. Darshana Dadhania, Paolo Cravedi, and Ms. Lisa Coscia.

I want to recognize our outgoing Board members, Drs. Deepali Kumar, Marie Chisholm-Burns, Vineeta Kumar, and Mandy Ford for their invaluable contributions and unwavering commitment to our Society.

I have been a member of the AST since 2001 and have served in various committee and board roles for the Society. My interest has been in clinical transplantation. I have been involved in many NIH and industry sponsored trials and I have organized over 15 consensus conferences to address challenging topics in the field of solid organ transplantation. Currently, I am the Director of the Heart Transplant Program at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

As I begin my presidency, I am thrilled to reflect on our recent accomplishments and share my vision for the year. The continued growth and success of our Society are paramount in my vision for the future. This will include:

  • Expand the breadth and diversity of our Society.
  • Build teamwork among peers with different needs and interests.
  • Ensure the fiscal health of the Society and expand research grants.
  • Explore innovative means to expand education and research for transplant communities.
  • Secure a prominent role for the AST in the modernization of the OPTN.
  • Increase the workforce via the Fellows Task Force to increase interest in organ transplant careers.
  • Facilitate discussions on end-stage organ disease as a natural progression to organ transplantation.
  • Explore alternatives to transplantation, including biomechanical organs, xenotransplantation, and cell therapies, among others.
  • Engage members in advocacy, for a true “grass roots” effort to pass transplant patient legislation through Congress.
  • Use social media, virtual meetings, and other technologies for AST members to engage in education, outreach, and advocacy for our patients.

As I take on the role of President of the AST, I am inspired by the dedication and passion of our members. Together, we can continue to build on our successes, embrace new opportunities, and overcome challenges to advance the field of transplantation. I look forward to working with each of you to achieve our shared goals and make a lasting impact on the lives of our patients.

Thank you for your trust and support. Please feel free to connect with me at jon.kobashigawa@cshs.org if you have any questions or thoughts.

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